tagLoving WivesJust Another Radio Talk Show

Just Another Radio Talk Show

byoutofshadows©

The following flash story stems from a corny sense of humour coupled with the itch to do something different. Be warned, the story has little BTB, no RAAC and even less sex than primetime TV. Read only if you can tolerate LW presented in the form of a monologue spiced with a healthy dose of holiday humour. While it's not a great piece, I sincerely dedicate the story to all the great writers in the LW space who have passed on in the last two years: I'm sorry I didn't have the chance to get to know you, thank you for leaving stories that provoke and inspire, hope you're all at peace wherever you may be! To readers: happy holidays and keep reading. To fellow writers: Keep the faith and keep writing! Thanks to comewhatdreamsmay for edits and DFWBeast for advice!

[Transmission starts with holiday theme music, likely Christmas carols]

"Holiday greetings to all fans and listeners tuned in to the final session of Straight Talk with Michael Pellegrino on WKRZ, your favorite radio station in this neck of the woods. As is the practice of this show this time of year, we move away from politics and serious issues to more frivolous topics and politically incorrect talk. Talk that can't be censored because the producer and just about anyone who can axe or call a halt to this program is stuck in traffic and queues at airports, highways and trains along with the rest of the human population trying to get home for the holidays. I'll bet most of you wonder every year while you make the trip 'Why the hell do I do this? For the dry cardboard shite called turkey? For the relatives—all batshit crazy, cranky and ready to fight?'

I don't know. Pick your poison because it sure must be something crazy that makes us drive for miles and miles to eat a horrible bird with people so awful you only manage to tolerate them for a day or so a year. I speak as one who's seen the light and has liberated himself from it all. Thanksgiving last year was the last torture session I put myself through.

Some of you may ask why I haven't joined the hordes this year. Well, I'm not ornery or anything but some of you might remember I'm now single again and have no obligations to turn up for the customary torture fest—sorry, ahem— festive feast. I knew it would be my last, three months before the event. How, you might ask, did I know three months before? Well, the answer is simple. That was the day I found out my loving wife was having an affair with her boss, her brother-in-law. The first couple of hours, my gut hurt and you know, for someone whose stomach is strong enough that I stick anything into my mouth, it was a sign how bad it was. Real bad. So bad I threw up breakfast. The breakfast I'd had to get from IHOP because my dear wife had an early work meeting to get to. She was honest, at least, on that point. It was an early work meeting all right. With her boss. In that fancy SUV she just had to have, all paid for by me. Only thing was I doubt they were up to any official business unless they worked for Humps R Us!

Before the producer and higher ups decide to gather muscle and break down the doors to stop whatever broadcast content that'll get us flak from the FCC, let me declare I'm completely neutral about what happened some weeks ago. You know the event that made orange the new black. Hey, last thing I need is to be told "You're fired" in such a terrible economy. Then again, I guess a public firing would be perfect for any lawsuit I could file. Just kidding! I love my orange, black and just about any colour of private servers I can get, after all, where do you think I keep all those incriminating emails and photos of the management here. Joking! Lighten up!

Now that I've gotten all the bad jokes on the state of our screwed up political system out of my system, let's move onto our topic for the day: 'Holidays'. Okay, right after my standby finishes reviving the duty person who's fainted from all that stress over jokes. Geez, people, don't lose your sense of humour even if you're stuck with a bunch of kids screaming in your ear while you're trying to handle a work issue email from the boss. Or if you're stuck on a freeway in lines that stretch for miles. You gotta keep that humour if you're to survive the drama that comes with the season. Remember, seasonal insanity ain't gonna work as a plea.

Before you go all sarcastic and point out I'm the lucky bastard getting away with staying out of the madness this year, let me tell you some of the backstory to my present freedom. There's always a price attached to freedom. And the price I paid was a winter of discontent. To protect the innocent, the names of many key characters and institutions have been tactfully left out. Of course, some concerned listeners might point out that the identity of the key innocent, also known as me, your favourite host, is fully exposed. To them I'm saying, thank you for your concern and I hate to break it to you now, but my real name isn't Pellegrino. Shock. Gasp. I'm sure it's the worst concealed secret ever but rest assured that apart from the ex, my employers and some family members, no one has any idea of my real identity. So sit back and relax as you listen to my sad tale and decide if you've had as dramatic an experience as I have.

Three months and a day before Thanksgiving last year, I was still a happily married man preparing for a live session of this program. I'd agreed to step in early for a colleague on the early morning segment where they did traffic reports among other stuff. The colleague in question had a serious bout of food poisoning and was out of action for the week. I welcomed the chance to connect with another audience segment. I wonder if listeners remember the experimental tie up the station had with the local police outfit where live video captured by traffic cameras stationed on major roads was shared with the station. Yeah, well, I never thought traffic video footage would end my marriage but it just shows you how the unexpected always takes place. I remember looking casually at the video footage of a traffic jam along the exit from the freeway towards the junction of Fifth and Elm, waiting for the cue when I saw my wife's new car. She'd one of her early morning meetings and left the house before me. For her to be still stuck in traffic was odd. That wasn't what made me stare though. It was the sight of her making out with some guy, who clearly wasn't her loving husband, in her car while they were waiting out a horrendous traffic jam.

Everything went quiet around me. When a guy we were training put his hand on my shoulder, I jerked as much from the shock of realizing I wasn't alone in the studio as the shock of watching my wife cheating on me. Live footage. A guy who looked familiar. The unmistakable red hue of my wife's hair. That was all I remembered that morning. I even wondered if I was having a nightmare!

Nothing made sense even after I forced myself to tear my eyes away from the screen displaying the traffic videos. I signalled my discomfort and ran for the bathroom. I barely made it before the breakfast I'd gotten at IHOP made its way out the wrong end of my digestive system.

So what did I do? Nothing. There was nothing that I could do right away even if I had wanted desperately to rip the head off that bastard's shoulders and make that cheating bitch feel my pain. The only thing I did that day was look hard at my marriage — well, at least at the photos of us through the years and try to figure out where everything went wrong. As with probably every other baffled, grieving husband who had been cheated upon, I didn't find anything that indicated I'd done anything to deserve betrayal by the woman I'd sworn to live and protect.

[Sounds of throat clearing]

Excuse me. These things creep up on us, don't they? Anyway, there was no moment of epiphany or anything like that. Just a dull heavy ache where my heart used to be. I went to bed feeling empty and pretended to be asleep when the wife came home from work. It took all I could muster not to flinch and roll away when she cuddled up to me.

The next couple of days brought little to help me understand the situation better. I mean, what was I supposed to do? I was already paying for everything, from the mortgage to the bills and her car loan. I couldn't afford spending more on a PI to get evidence of her cheating ways. Then, a stroke of luck, I had to take her car to the garage for servicing about a week after I'd discovered her little affair. It was what Eddie, our friendly garage owner, said about making the cameras installed in the car work better that set me thinking. I'd almost forgotten we'd installed cameras after another car had rear-ended my wife's car some months earlier. Eddie reminded me that there were cameras which could be made to record both the external environment as well as what was happening in the car. That gave me some ideas. Eddie had referred me to his nephew who sold these cameras and within half an hour, I'd replaced two of the original cameras that only caught drivers behind and in front of the car. They didn't look any different but they sure worked different. Eddie's nephew also taught me how to log into the website where the camera feed was saved. The boy's face clearly showed he had questions but he was smart enough to keep them to himself. In any case, I was the legal owner of the car and if I wanted to record what was happening in the car, no one could say shite about it.

The boy assured me that each day's recording would be kept on the server for at least 30 days and that if I saved any footage, they would be kept permanently until I decided to erase it. It was a comfort of sorts that no matter what the cheating slut did in the car I bought her, all the action would be captured by the camera, complete with audio, and stored until I could take action.

I waited to test out the camera recording on a subsequent day when my wife had another of her early morning meetings. After I'd completed the Straight Talk session for the day, I logged onto the website and looked through the footage for the morning. From personal experience, I would advise all male counterparts out there not to view footage of your cheating wife — it's never pleasant and unless you're determined to end that marriage, it would be unwise to watch something that will forever be etched on the part of the mind that replays the images every time you look at her. I should know. The day I watched it was the day the last bit of love in me for her died. It just shrivelled up like your balls do when you realize that hot ass you've been watching on that secret video you found stashed under your parents' bed was your mother. Do. Not. Watch.

Anyway, I guess it took that burn to clear the path, so to speak. I decided about 30 minutes after I'd saved the footage and got some stills off as photos that I wasn't about to let the adulterous pair off so easily. I listened in on their conversation, feeling no great need to watch them in action again. In itself, the pair hadn't matched even amateur camera couples in terms of creativity or enthusiasm. It was just straight fucking and my wife had that unsatisfied look on her face when limp dick went soft after like five seconds in her. I saw that pout and annoyed look that indicated her dissatisfaction but limp dick didn't even notice. The wifey perked up only when limp dick talked about the upcoming talks that a potential party keen on buying the firm was about to hold with senior partners of the firm, including limp dick himself naturally.

That provided the first real clue as to what motivated my wife to cheat on me: good ole greed. She was always looking at what would get her that one step further up the ladder and she thought with the takeover that limp dick was about to get to top step, pronto. That was the point where I started to appreciate the traditional wisdom that knowledge was power — knowing what I knew was the first step to making the adulterers suffer for their betrayal.

Armed with the knowledge that my dear loving wife expected to benefit from limp dick receiving a large payoff from a potential takeover, I made it a point to research the firm rumoured to be the buyer. Call it an unexpected bit of luck but I had previously interviewed a key decision maker in that organization. It was a family business and the patriarch, whom I interviewed, was known for being a strict believer in family values. He'd disowned and fired his younger son who had carried on an affair with a secretary despite being happily married with kids. Last I'd heard of it, the poor guy was living out of a motel and working as a security guard while his wife remained in the family home and controlled all the finances. This gave me an idea of how I could turn this situation to my advantage. With that in mind, I decided to take up the long forgotten invitation extended by my interview guest to drop by for Sunday lunch.

Lunch was an awkward experience; on the one hand, I saw what most normal marriages and families looked like, a reminder that happy couples and families did exist. On the other hand, it reminded me of what I did not, could not have with my cheating wife and that caused a sour taste that the honey and milk at the end of the meal could not dispel.

Without going into too much detail, I laid my case out for the patriarch. He listened carefully without making a sound. The frown on his face made it clear that he didn't like much of what he had heard. With sensitivity unexpected of a man such as him, he quietly assured me he would reconsider the acquisition deal in light of what I'd revealed. Of course, I didn't really expect him to give up a deal just because of me. However, if I'd just made things a little more difficult for that adulterous pair, it'd have been worth it.

Just when I'd given up on anything happening from that end, I received news from the adulterers themselves about what the patriarch had done. More accurately, the news had come from the adulterers through the cameras in the car. Limp dick was asked to give up his partnership equity and was transferred to a branch out in the middle of nowhere in return for the company not terminating him. Considering our neck of the woods, to be transferred to the middle of nowhere probably meant somewhere in a desert. Apparently, my guest and now friend had taken it upon himself to shake both the stick and the carrot. He told limp dick and my wife's company that a senior partner was having an affair with an employee and that made him have doubts about the integrity of the company which cascaded to doubts about management integrity. Of course, he not only threatened to walk away from the deal if the said senior partner and employee were not dealt with but also shrewdly demanded a discount on the negotiated price. The other senior partners balked and decided to enforce the morality clause in the employment and partnership contracts. My loving wife naturally didn't get off without some of the shite being doled out to her as well. She was placed on probation though they had considered firing her but had refrained at the thought of the potential scandal if she decided to retaliate. Unsurprisingly, there was no sex in that session, just a lot of finger action and I didn't mean hand jobs — the adulterous pair were pointing the finger of blame at each other for their misfortunes.

They were completely baffled as to how they were found out. Both were convinced they had been completely discreet. I thought to myself, 'Geez, how discreet could you be if you were making out in the middle of a traffic jam?' I guess if they were too dumb to get a room and had to fuck in the car I'd bought my wife, then they probably don't understand what discretion meant. Of course, the word fidelity also never figured in their dictionary.

I had to smile when the two of them decided to act normal around their spouses because they needed to do some 'damage control'. Neither of them seemed too sad about ending their little hookup. In fact, my wife snidely said she wished they hadn't started the whole thing before limp dick exited the car. 'Too little, too late' was all that ran through my mind.

With such cheerful developments in mind, I managed to get through the week before Thanksgiving with a fake smile pasted on my face whenever the wife was around. I know she was watching me closely around the house, almost as if she were afraid I'd gotten wind of what had happened at work. It was tough but I did not wince when she kissed my cheek and promptly gave the old headache excuse when she tried to get frisky. Headaches from a possible onset of flu kept her at bay as predicted and my offer to sleep in the guest room so she didn't catch anything from me ensured I got some real sleep without being disgusted by the cheating ass lying next to me. Her anxiety levels were up but my placid reaction made her relax somewhat. Of course, the wine helped. I figured, the wine I'd squirreled away from the wine collection of our wedding was never going to be drunk on important anniversaries or at our children's weddings and since I didn't necessarily want reminders when we split, I'd generously allowed her to drink bottles without protesting.

It was with quiet amity that we made our usual trip to her parents' house for Thanksgiving. I'd asked for the week off, having recorded most of the sessions beforehand and having another host we'd been training take over for the one 'live' session we had scheduled. I'd also let my family know we'd not be able to make Thanksgiving with them. My sister had been given details but she was sworn to secrecy. Anyway, sis was not about to be the messenger especially when it came to bad news.

I went through the motions when we arrived. And even managed to discuss game statistics with my wife's father and brother. I avoided her sister and her brother-in-law (aka limp dick) who were quietly sullen, something that never happened on our previous visits. The gloating look I thought limp dick would have in his eyes was overshadowed by his obvious unhappiness over what happened at work. My mother-in-law was a little less frosty to me despite the fact that she still thought I didn't deserve her wonderful daughter.

The main thought I had was I'd probably miss my father-in-law and brother-in-law most when I got that divorce. The sister-in-law attached to limp dick not so much—her usual bitchy attitude towards me ensured I wasn't dreading hurting her when I presented my non-turkey surprise. I'd have missed my wife most out of the group but I felt the woman I'd loved and married was no longer in the room. And the woman who stood in her place was someone who looked like her but was a complete stranger to me.

I politely waited for the meal to be over, no point wasting the life of a good bird even if it'd been cooked to a state that was indistinguishable from cardboard. The strangers whom I'd just shared Thanksgiving with were slowly descending into a turkey coma when I cleared my throat and said I had something to say. Everyone looked at me and for the first time in my life, I had stage fright. Taking a deep breath, I took out two large envelopes from the bag I'd brought with me into the house and handed them to my wife and my father-in-law.

All hell broke loose as clichés go. Hell was my wife bursting into tears; my father-in-law staring at the photos of my wife fucking her sister's husband in utter devastation; my wife's sister slapping and hitting her husband with everything she could get her hands on, including at one point, the hapless carcass of the blameless turkey. Hell was also my mother-in-law scurrying to get my sister-in-law's kids into a guest room before they witnessed the mêlée in the dining room, she managed to send a few good glares my way before she left the dining room. Hell included my brother-in-law trying to persuade me to give his sister another chance before giving up when he saw my facial expression. Of course, he took out his frustration on limp dick, adding some punches to my sister-in-law's display of pugilism. At some point, I think she added catfight hair pulling to her routine/list of moves when she moved from her husband to my wife

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byoutofshadows© 37 comments/ 31411 views/ 15 favorites

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